COVID-19 outbreak in B.C. Indigenous community fuels concerns over waning protective benefits of vaccines – The Globe and Mail

The remote B.C. community of Maaqtusiis, home to the Ahousaht Nation, has been in lockdown for two weeks because of COVID-19. The schools have been closed, non-essential travel to and from the community has been prohibited, and families have been asked not to mingle with other households.

Unlike many Indigenous communities in British Columbia where vaccination rates are below the provincial average, the Ahousaht enthusiastically welcomed a team of public-health nurses who arrived with the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 6. The outbreak adds to growing concerns that the protective benefits of the vaccines may be waning.

The village, which is a half-hour boat ride north of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, had already experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that prompted a lockdown in November of 2020. Once vaccines were available, both its elected and hereditary leadership showed their support for the rollout.

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